Jackie Starr’s Fabulous Menu Suggestions for October 25 Share

Crunchy Kale Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino

Crunchy Kale Salad with Walnuts and Pecorino from Guy Fieri

1 Bok Choi Head
2 Romanesco Cauliflower
1 large Red Cabbage
1 Escarole (Waltham fields escarole link; Mariquita farms escarole link)
1 med Fennel (Watham fields Fennel link; mariquita farms fennel link)
.5# Garlic
1 Rosemary Bunch
1 Kale Bunch (Watham fields kale link; Mariquita farms kale link)
1 Head Lettuce
.75# of Greens mix
4# Sweet Potatoes

 

beets 2# (Waltham fields beets link; mariquita farms beets link)

carrots 5# (Waltham fields carrots link; Mariquita farms carrot link)

2 bu leeks (Waltham fields leeks link; Mariquita farms leeks link)

potatoes 5# (Mariquita farms potatoes link)

1 bu salad turnips

Celeriac (celery root; recipe roundups from Waltham Fields Community Farms, Mariquita farms, and Martha Stewart)

acorn squash (recipe roundups from Lexfarm, Waltham Fields Community Farms, and Mariquita farms)

 

Onions (Mariquita farms onions link) from Noah and Sophie at Alprilla Farm

 

MENU IDEAS

 

If you are stumped as to how you’ll use 30 lbs of vegetables over the next few weeks, I hope the following menus will give you some ideas. None of these are major cooking projects; many of the meals make leftovers for two nights or can be frozen. Most of what I list can be made fairly quickly with pantry items. The recipes are adaptable for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or non-allergenic diets.

For non-share ingredients I try to include items that can also be purchased from local sources. Citrus, many nuts and seeds, avocadoes, olives, and some spices and herbs are obvious exceptions. Some of the ingredients may be things I’ve frozen from summer but that can also be purchased, such as oven-dried tomatoes, herbs, and hot peppers.

Week 1: Use the most perishable items.

Roasted Broccoli (or romanesco) with garlic and red chile pepper served on pasta or with oil-poached fish (or any meat); lettuce and salad greens with fennel & orange. Cauliflower with brown butter and hazelnuts is another very simple and delicious option.

Instead of Gilfeather turnip we got a nice bunch of salad turnips. Judging from the swap box, this was an unpopular item, poor little guys—I love them! These were picked relatively small, so they should taste mild. They’re handy to have around to add to salads this time of year; I like to eat them with humus. Cook them as you might glaze carrots—by browning them in a pan and then adding any type of cooking liquid with a bit of salt and sugar (or honey or maple syrup) to finish cooking them. Use an amount of liquid that will cook off, leaving them glazed. The turnip greens can be added to the pan at the end, until wilted. Here are some other recipes specific to salad turnips and radishes, which they resemble for culinary purposes.

There is a dinner I listed on a Lexfarm menu but never had a chance to make: bok choy with black bean sauce, which could also be used for simply cooked fish or mussels. Miso-glazed salad turnips will take hardly any prep time at all, or the turnips could be miso-roasted. Salad of lettuce, radish, and shredded or julienned carrots dressed with ginger dressing.

I might blanch and freeze some of the escarole for later if the heads are large. Otherwise, it could be braised or served on pasta with sausages or a grain or as a side dish to fried eggs, braised chicken, blackened shrimp or fish, sausages, etc. Another way to use escarole is to make a deceptively simple escarole soup with white beans, garlic, and chile pepper. I’m sure this soup could also be frozen.

Leeks are handy to have around for soups or quiche, and farro (or other grain) salad with leeks, chickpeas, and currants also looks good. Serve it with the salad greens, which should have some bitter greens to help offset the sweetness of the leeks and currants.

If you’ve still got greens mix or escarole before the end of the week, they could be used to make saag. A very quick weeknight meal is curried carrots and lentils, or the saag could be served with a lentil dal (or both).

Week 2

Kale pairs beautifully with radicchio in salads, such as with pecorino and walnuts; with orange; with a Caesar dressing; or with apple, pancetta, and candied pecans. I made the first one and loved it. One night it could be served with veggie burgers with mushrooms or beets.

On a different night, the salad would be good with soup, such as a chunky carrot soup. Later in the week, I would serve carrot soup again, this time maybe with potato pancakes and apple sauce.

Celeriac (also known as celery root) is delicious raw or cooked. The raw root tastes like celery stalks, only mellower and more complex. Roasting it concentrates its earthy flavor. Melissa Clark shows how to clean and peel celeriac and provides a simple recipe for celery root salad with arugula and pecans. Celery root is also the main ingredient in a French classic rémoulade (creamy slaw). David Lebovitz illustrates his recipe with step-by-step photos and explains that apple is a nouveau addition—one that I like.

Among “5 great recipes for celery root,” Yotam Ottolenghi’s celeriac and lentils with hazelnuts and mint would make a delicious vegetarian fall meal. Non-vegetarians might like to try braised chicken with celery root and garlic. For a while, this chicken and the rémoulade were the only two things I made with celery root, because I loved them so much. Make sure to have something on hand with which to sop up the incredibly tasty braising juices. Braised red cabbage with apples adds color to the plate. The fresh (or frozen, thawed) dill and vinegar in this version help cut the richness of the braised chicken and root. So would a fresh lettuce or kale salad with radishes.

To use some sweet potatoes, I may try quesadillas (with cheesewithout cheese, or with chicken). If I’ve frozen some escarole or any other soup that’s not orange colored like the sweet potatoes, this would be a good night to defrost some. A half-batch of quick-pickled red cabbage would be good with the quesadillas, and adding chile pepper or cumin would keep with the southwest-leaning taste of the quesadillas.

Week 3

By mid-November we should be well into cool weather and looking forward to meals involving roasted potatoes or other roots. I might serve them with baked shrimp or any sort of meat or meatloaf or vegetable loaf. For freshness and crunch, accompany them with shredded beet and carrot salad with a favorite dressing

The Lexfarm newsletter featured a sweet potato-chipotle soup I’ve been wanting to try. One night I’d serve it with some sort of tempeh, maybe in a sandwich or salad. Another night it could be served with mushroom and onion soft tacos.

A back-up for me when I’m relying on root vegetable stores is to make something—anything—with caramelized onions: tacos, pizza, pasta….or I might try this rich-looking onion tart from Deborah Madison. I’m hoping to be harvesting my own lettuce and arugula and would serve a salad dressed with cherry tomatoes that I oven dried this past summer, maybe trying this dressing but switching out basil for rosemary.

Last winter when I had way too many carrots on hand I cooked them 5 ways in one day, and all different. A delicious carrot-focused dinner is to use roasted carrot-almond pesto on pasta or a grain or as part of a grain bowl. This is another meal where previously frozen greens would be handy. Another accompaniment could be a salad with shredded cabbage, fennel, and minced Kalamata (or other) olives.

Marcella Hazan’s pan-roasted chicken with rosemary and white wine, served with braised red cabbage and apples or roasted potatoes and beets. Vegetarians might be intrigued to try Martha Rose Shulman’s trahana recipes, as I am. Fennel and orange salad could be served before, alongside, or after the main meal. If you’ve still got some fresh kale, raw fennel and kale also taste great together.

Also unexpected in the share were some beautiful acorn squash, which beg to be prepared with a stuffing. Here are some winter squash recipe roundups from Lexfarm, Waltham Fields Community Farms, and Mariquita farms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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